7-Nights Italian Intermezzo
Italian Intermezzo (Winter 2017-18)
Italy’s most famous and best loved cities reveal a treasure-trove of riches on this concise, yet surprisingly diverse itinerary that is equally enjoyable touring in autumn, winter or spring.
ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS
- Verona: Walk past the well preserved Roman Arena to Juliet's balcony in the courtyard of a Renaissance villa.
- Venice: Cruise to St. Mark's Square by private launch. See St. Mark's Basilica, bell tower, clock tower, Doges' Palace and Bridge of Sighs. Witness hand-made Venetian glass-blowing.
- Florence: During your guided walking tour, see the cathedral, belltower, ‘Gates of Paradise' on the baptistery, and visit Signoria Square. Witness a leather-work demonstration.
- Autumn: Learn about olive oil pressing and have a taste. Take in the beauty of the stunning autumn colours of Tuscany's fields.
- Winter: With an expert vintner, learn about the origins of Italian mulled wine - Vin Brulé, and enjoy a tasting of this soul-soothing, aromatic drink.
- Spring: Admire the fields of the wild flowers and rejoice in a tasting of the region's famous wines.
- Rome: Over a sumptuous Celebration Dinner of Roman cuisine, fill your glasses with wine and enjoy an evening of spine-tingling operetta.
- Included Quality Dining: 7 Buffet Breakfasts (BB); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Three-course table d'hôte Dinner (DW) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Departures on tour for Christmas and New Year's Eve enjoy a festive Highlight Dinner.
- Florence: Develop your understanding of the work of Michelangelo's masterpiece, 'David', with a Renaissance art expert during your visit to the Accademia Museum.
- Assisi: A Local Expert will explain why the Basilica of St. Francis is considered one of the crowning achievements of medieval Europe.
- Rome: Your Local Expert will take you on an exploration of the city's highlights including St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and VIP access to the Bramante Staircase in the Vatican Museums.
- Milan: The recently renovated 5-star Meliá Milano is located in the most dynamic and fastest-developing district of central Milan.
- Venice: Carlton on the Grand Canal is a family-run hotel with a unique location. Guest rooms are decorated in an 18th century Venetian style.
- Florence: The Athenaeum Personal is a 4-star modern hotel, conveniently located minutes away from central Florence. Resulting from a close collaboration with the famous Accademia Gallery, the hotel showcases a unique exhibition venue for up-and-coming artists.
- Rome: The elegant Veneto Palace finds itself in an exclusive part of Rome's historic centre, among the unique scenery of the ancient city.
- Venice: To the tune of accompanying musicians, you will be serenaded through the atmospheric canals, gliding along on a gondola.
- Pisa: See the famous Leaning Tower, baptistery and cathedral as you explore this historic town.
OUR FIVE-STAR SERVICES
- Our highly-skilled Insight Tour Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend in a foreign land.
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat touring coach, with extended Business Class legroom and on-board restroom.
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
- Hotel and restaurant tips are included; you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
- From time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish - a local tidbit representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
- Complimentary transfers from Milan Malpensa Airport and to Rome Fiumicino Airport are available at scheduled times only on arrival and departure days. Should your flights not coincide with complimentary transfers, charged transfers are available on arrival and departure days, or when additional accommodation is booked through Insight Vacations. Alternatively, please make your own way from/to the airport.
7 nights from $2175 per person
Supplier: Insight Vacations
Sprawled across seven legendary hills, romantic and beautiful Rome was one
of the great centers of the ancient world. Although its beginning is shrouded
in legend and its development is full of intrigue and struggle, Rome has always
been and remains the Eternal City.
Rome enjoyed its greatest splendor during the 1st and 2nd centuries when art
flourished, monumental works of architecture were erected, and the mighty Roman
legions swept outward, conquering all of Italy. These victorious armies then
swept across the Mediterranean and beyond to conquer most of the known world.
With Rome's establishment as capital of the western world, a new ascent to glory
Today's Rome, with its splendid churches, ancient monuments and palaces, spacious
parks, tree-lined boulevards, fountains, outdoor cafes and elegant shops, is
one of the world’s most attractive and exciting cities. Among the most famous
monuments is the Colosseum. As you walk its cool, dark passageways, imagine
the voices that once filled the arena as 50,000 spectators watched combats between
muscled gladiators and ferocious animals.
Stop to see the remains of the Forum, once the city's political and commercial
center. In later times, Rome's squares were enhanced with such imposing structures
as the Vittorio Emanuele Monument and grandiose fountains like the Fontana di
Trevi. Join the millions who stand in awe of Christendom’s most magnificent
church and admire the timeless masterpieces of Michelangelo's frescoes in the
Rome jars the senses and captures the soul. Grasp all you can during the short,
precious time you have available in the Eternal City. With so much to see and
do, a day or two will only allow you a sampling of the city's marvelous treasures.
Caution: As in many big cities and tourist destinations purse snatching
and pickpocketing is common. Valuable jewelry and excess cash are best left
in a safety deposit box in your hotel.
Shopping For most visitors shopping for beautiful Italian leather articles,
designer shoes, fashions for men and women, linens, knitwear, silk scarves and
ties is a favorite pastime. Except for tourist-oriented shops, the majority
of stores are closed on Sundays. Some of the department stores, such as Rinascente,
open in the late afternoon on Sundays.
Cuisine Rome's choice of restaurants is mindboggling as is the variety
of cuisine. Whether your meal is at a top-rated restaurant or a rustic trattoria,
you can be sure that you will enjoy your food, especially when accompanied by
wines from the hill towns surrounding Rome.
Other Sights Rome's attractions are endless, and depending on how much
time you have at your disposal a careful selection has to be made about what
to see. Be aware of horrendous traffic conditions and major construction work
all around the city in preparation of Jubilee 2000, the Holy Year. Some of the
sights not to be missed:
Piazza Venezia - This busy square is easily recognized by its imposing Vittorio
Emanuele II Monument. The white marble structure was inaugurated in 1911 as
a symbol of Italy’s unification.
The Forum - Once the civic heart of ancient Rome, today the remains include
a series of ruins, marble fragments, isolated columns and some worn arches.
Colosseum - No visit to Rome is complete without a stop at this awe-inspiring
theater, which is among the world’s most celebrated buildings. Here ancient
Rome flocked to see gladiatorial contests and numerous other spectacles.
Trevi Fountain - Take a stroll to Rome's famous fountain. A spectacular fantasy
of mythical sea creatures and cascades of splashing water, the fountain is one
of the city's foremost attractions. Legend has it that visitors must toss a
coin into the fountain to ensure their return to Rome.
St. Peter's Square - Part of Vatican City, this square created by Bernini
is considered one of the loveliest squares in the world. Twin Doric colonnades
topped with statues of various saints and martyrs flank either side of the square.
In the center stands an 84-foot obelisk, brought from Egypt in 37 A.D.
St. Peter's Basilica - At the head of the square stands Christendom's most
magnificent church, which was begun in 1452 on the site where St. Peter was
buried. Throughout the following 200 years, such Renaissance masters as Bramante,
Michelangelo, Raphael and Bernini worked on its design and created an unparalleled
masterpiece. Of special note are Michelangelo's Pieta and the bronze canopy
over the high altar by Bernini. The immense dome was designed by Michelangelo.
Vatican Museum - To see this museum's immense collection would take days.
As you enter, there are special posters that plot a choice of four color-coded
itineraries. They are repeated throughout the museum and are easy to follow.
It is a good idea to pickup a leaflet at the main entrance and concentrate on
exhibits of major interest. Of course, the Sistine Chapel is a must. Most likely
you may have to wait in line to enter.
With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
The creative explosion of the Italian Renaissance happened right here, leaving petite Florence more art treasures than most national capitals. View the masterworks of local heroes like Michelangelo and Botticelli, visit countless unforgettable basilicas, then climb up into Brunelleschi's soaring dome to watch the sun set among cypress-clad Tuscan hillsides.
Milan is a city that arouses extreme feelings, just like the city lifestyle. A frenetic, restless rhythm is part of both work and leisure, so much so that it is difficult to stay unmoved and not get overwhelmed by all the cultural and social stimulus.
Maybe for this reason, Milan makes itself indispensable, because it is impossible to feel so alive and full of energy when you are away from the city. Milan is always one step ahead: a laboratory of artistic experiments and a building site for social behavior that is continuously changing. City full of contradictions, ancient and modern, trends and counter-trends, fashion and underground, middle class and working class, but always simply “cool”.
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